Work is nearing completion on Martin Luther King Jr. Way, formerly known as the Riverside Extension. Once completed, vehicular traffic on Spokane Falls Boulevard will be moved away from Riverpoint campus while creating an inviting setting within the University District for commuters. Summer 2009, the Spokane City Council approved Martin Luther King Jr. Way as the name for the Riverside Avenue extension.
The new boulevard also includes bike lanes, street trees, wide sidewalks, and an elevated median. Additionally, the project will extend:
- Riverside Avenue/Martin Luther King Jr. Way from Division Street to Sherman Avenue;
- Pine Street from Main to Riverside avenues;
- Spokane Falls Boulevard from Division Street to Sherman Avenue; and
- Sherman Avenue from Martin Luther King Jr. Way to Riverpoint Boulevard.
This is just Phase I of our plans for the corridor. Phase II, planned for 2013, will travel along the Spokane River under the Hamilton Street Bridge to Trent Avenue. The final phase, currently unfunded, will allow access along Erie Street under the Burlington Northern Sante Fe railroad tracks and will not occur until there is sufficient demand for a vehicular crossing under the railroad. Phase 2 and 3 will begin right of way purchase in 2011. It is estimated this demand will take 20 years to develop.
The $3.77 million project began in February 2011 and was completed in May 2012. Funding for Phase I came from federal, state, and local funds.